3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 26, 2013 8:19 AM by SAP_Basis

    Virtual disk labels - feature request

    MartinSvec Novice

      Hello, I miss one simple but extremely useful feature in vSphere -- custom user-friendly identification of virtual disks.

      We have dozens of VMs with multiple vmdks (system, swap, tmp, www data, mysql data, backup, ...) because it provides us maximal flexibility when using Storage DRS, Storage I/O Control, disk growing etc. Unfortunately, vSphere gives us absolutely no way to quickly identify the purpose of each disk. In vCenter, we only see "Hard Disk 1",  "Hard Disk 2", "Hard Disk 3", etc. In datastores, we see "vmname.vmdk", "vmname_1.vmdk" etc.  When we rename vmdks manually, Storage vMotion automatically renames them back... So,  there is no control over the virtual disk names and we must investigate all the cryptic things like "Hard Disk X", "vmname_x.vmdk", and "SCSI (x:y)" just to say -- yes, this is a VM's mysql data disk.

      It's a big pain in daily administration tasks like "customer wants to grow its www data disk", "what data contain these two big vmdks shown at the top of Storage Views?", "is it safe to migrate this large vmdk to a tier-3 storage?", "we want to temporarily set IOPS limit of a mysql disk until customer fixes its broken application causing thousands of queries per second" etc. etc. etc.

      If you have a physical disk, you can always put a sticky note on it. But in the virtual environment where virtually everything should be possible, vSphere gives us nothing like that . This is very surprising to me.

      In vSphere 5, Storage Profiles can be partially (ab)used in this way. But they don't affect vmdk names and appear on a limited number of places, so they don't solve the primary issue -- quick and straightforward identification of virtual disks.

      I think that the following solution would be sufficient for most people and also relatively easy to implement:

      1. In vSphere clients, provide an option to specify a short label for each virtual disk ("www", "system", "mysql", ...) and save it as an attribute in vmdk descriptor file.
      2. Instead of "vmname_xyz.vmdk", generate vmdk names in the form "vmname_label_xyz.vmdk".
      3. Instead of "Hard Disk X", show "Hard Disk: label" everywhere in all vSphere clients.
      4. Propagate these disk labels when cloning, deploying VM from a template etc.
      5. Make these labels accessible through vSphere API.


      This solution is 100% backward compatible because if no label is specified, the present vCenter naming scheme can be used by default. It also doesn't modify or remove any existing functionality but adds a new one.


      What do you think about it? Are there any plans to implement something like that in future versions of vSphere?


      Best regards


      Martin Svec